e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Musical Relations and Signs

I grew up hearing both Mexican music (from a powerful station over the border) and conjunto ( a Tex-Mex musical form now mostly supplanted by Tejana, very much influenced by German and Czech music, especially polkas.)   Some Saturdays I was allowed to spend the night with my grandmother, who lived across a vacant lot from a VFW hall where they held dances on Saturday nights.   Nobody had air conditioning, then, so I would peer out the window, across the lot, and into the tall windows of the VFW hall, listening to the music and watching the dancing.  The instruments always included a button accordion, guitar, a thumping drum rhythm, and often a trumpet and a fiddle or so.  Sometimes a tuba, very Teutonic.  Woodwinds (especially saxophone) showed up sometimes.   I found it intoxicating, foot-tapping (or stomping) music.

Sunday evening is my television evening (mostly PBS but sometimes Telemundo, one of the two available Spanish-language stations.)   So this evening, I ran across a PBS program on "Waila" or  "Chicken-Scratch" music of a number of reservations in southern Arizona...and to me, it sounded like conjunto.   The same cultural background went into it--European instruments, a strong German influence.  Some of the bands could have played in South Texas in the '50s.   My ear isn't educated enough to pick out all the differences between the two musical cousins--I'd need to hear a lot more of the Waila, though I did notice the lack of brass in the bands featured.   Still--it sounded so familiar that I started twitching to the beat.

Signs: While we were driving home today, stopped at a red light, a truck made a left turn in front of us, and the truck had this sign on its side; "Absolute Destruction."    (Yes, I double-checked, "Absolute" had the "e.")   Much speculation on what the customer might want absolutely destroyed. 

Some distance down the road, a large sign read "Powder Coating."   (It did not say what would, or could, be powder coated, but the mental image was of someone flinging large globs of face powder onto the customer's chosen object.)

Tags: music

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